Feature Post, Green Living, World Problems

The Mesopotamian Venice: The Lost Floating Homes of Iraq

Ma'dan houses

There’s a lot of talk nowadays about how to live more sustainably, but what surprises me is how complicated people choose to make this process. If you really want to live in a sustainable home and lead a sustainable lifestyle, you need not look too further – just go back to the roots. Sadly, the world right now is on the…

Environment, News, World Problems

Sad, but Expected: The Climate Talks in Lime have Failed

Global annual average temperatures, ranked from warmest (left) to coldest (right). Image via UK Met lab.

This month, a silent drama unfolded in Peru’s capital, Lima: representatives of UN countries have debated for two weeks in an attempt to negotiate ways to stop climate change without harming the world economy, especially that of lesser developed countries. While all parties agreed that there needs to be a strong, quick and equitable framework for climate change, no actual…

News, Pollution, World Problems

Full extent of plastic in world’s oceans quantified: over 5 trillions of pieces of plastic

There are at least trillions of pieces of plastic in our ocean. Image via NOAA.

We all know that our oceans are polluted, and one of the biggest problems is plastic pollution. But few people really realize just how much plastic is in the waters – a new study estimates that there are at least 5.25 trillion pieces which weigh an estimated 269,000 tonnes. The real number however may be even much larger than that. Plastic…

Environmental Issues, News, World Problems

Australia might set the stage for failed climate change talks in Paris next year

Smoke rises from a thermal power station in Sofia, Bulgaria. Credit: DIMITAR DILKOFF / AFP/GETTY IMAGES FILE PHOTO

Australia’s Abbott government has been accused of intentionally taking measures that might lead to an international greenhouse gas emission target in Paris, next year. Australian leaders are keen on insisting there should be a binding legal agreement between the countries that agree to the action, arguing that in lack of such a internationally enforceable framework the agreement would lack credibility….

Environmental Issues, News, World Problems

Ecuador indigenous leader killed just days before environmental Peru Protest

Image via Climate Connections.

An indigenous leader of the Shuar people who was openly opposing a major mining project in Ecuador has been found bound and buried, just days before an environmental protest he was organizing in Peru’s capital, Lima. We here don’t really like to tackle politics – unless it directly involves science or the environment… and this is exactly the case. José Isidro Tendetza…

Environmental Issues, News, World Problems

Massive oil spill floods nature reserve in Israel – possibly the country’s worst environment disaster

The Evrona Nature Reserve crisscrossed by a black river of hydrocarbon oil, as seen in this aerial taken by the Israel's Environmental Protection Ministry.

More than 80 people were hospitalized after inhaling noxious fumes after a pipeline failure caused some 600,000 gallons of oil to spill into a nature reserve in the desert near Eilat, a southern Israel city. The city with a population of about 50,000 people was not directly affected, however local fauna and flora was severely damaged, according to Guy Samet, the director of…

News, World Problems

Uncontacted Amazon tribe raids neighboring village; raises fear of retaliation

Inhabitants of the Peruvian Amazon village of Colombiana, who were recently raided by a neighboring Amazonian tribe. Photo: C. FAGAN, UPPER AMAZON CONSERVANCY

The past couple of months have been really tense for the people who are often times labeled as coming from ‘uncontacted’ tribes. The truth of is most of these tribes are often times intruded upon by neighboring communities and, worse and most dangerous of all, illegal loggers and drug traffickers. As such, tribesmen have come out in the open, forced upon…

Green Living, News, World Problems

New kind of plastic recycles itself when exposed to UV light

plastic uv light

In 2012, the United States generated almost 14 million tons of plastics as containers and packaging, about 11 million tons as durable goods such as appliances, and almost 7 million tons as nondurable goods, such as plates and cups. Compared to the 1960s, when plastics were less than one percent of the waste stream, this ubiquitous class of materials has now…

Biology, Environmental Issues, News, World Problems

Virus might be causing a Horrible Disease that turns Starfish into paste

Credit: Vancouver Aquarium

Since June, 2013 swarms of dying starfish have been riddling the North American western coast. The disease, called  sea star wasting syndrome (SSWS), causes the star-shaped echinoderms to first curl from the tips, then swell and twist like a pretzel, followed by festering sores appearing on the flesh and ending in complete degeneration. A starfish hit by SSWS is unrecognizable…

News, World Problems

Two bloody wars and 13 years later, the War on Terror has helped increase Terrorist Attacks Seven Fold

Image: Global Terrorism Index 2014

In response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Bush administration launched a counter-offensive which went on to be known as the “War on Terror” and saw the US wage war in Afghanistan, Iraq, and most recently Syria. The WoT was initiated, in theory at least,  to eliminate the threat from al Qaida’s leader, Osama bin Laden, and as a long term…